What sets a successful diet apart from the diets that fail? For starters, it’s all about the long-term weight loss, right? But there has to be something, or more than one something, that makes a successful diet, well, successful, and sweetie, I can help. Here are 10 secrets of successful diets… check your diet against my list and see if it’s destined for success, or doomed to fail. Ready?
1. It Helps You Set a Goal
It is impossible to reach a goal if you don’t have one to reach. Before you start any successful diet, you need to set an attainable goal. Set a goal weight, and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to reach it. If you’re not sure what your goal weight ought to be, use the free, customizable tools at myplate.gov.
2. It Focuses on the Positive
Successful diets also help you focus on the things you’re doing RIGHT in your fitness and nutrition regimens. Rather than starting from scratch and revamping your entire life, take a close look at what you’re doing right, and start from there.
3. It Provides the Math
Every successful diet, including the commercial ones, has a basic math formula that makes weight loss possible. It’s this simple: to lose weight, you must consume FEWER calories than you burn. As a baseline, keep a tally of how many calories you consume and subtract the number of calories you burn. If the numbers don’t work, make subtractions (from the consume column) and additions (to the burn column) until you have an equation that creates weight loss. There are dozens of great calorie-counting apps available for free… try one to help you track your calories and do the math!
4. It Suggests Simple Switches
A successful diet will also include a few simple switches that can make a big difference: water for soda, whole grain bread for white bread, mixed fruit juices rather than single-fruit varieties. Look for the easy swaps you can make that will shave off calories and give you extra nutrients (as well as fiber to keep you feeling fuller, longer).
5. It Includes Regular Workouts
And diet that doesn’t include regular, strenuous physical activity isn’t going to work in the long-term. A successful diet will require about an hour of heart-thumping, sweat-inducing exercise four to five times a week. If you diet doesn’t include it, take a hard look at it.
6. It Doesn’t Eliminate or Add Just One Item
Simply put, there is no magic food or nutrient you can add or subtract from your diet to make it successful. Eating Subway every day may have worked for Jared, but will it work for you? Likewise, subtracting carbs in favor of fat-laden protein or eating only six apples a day isn’t going to spell diet success, and it can, in fact, be dangerous.
7. It’s Easy to Follow
A successful diet will also be easy to follow. If a diet plan is complicated or requires a lot of thought and effort, it’s not going to be very popular, because no matter how well it works, we all have busy lives and no time for anything complex, including morning make-up routines, hair styles, and diets.
8. It Provides Support
Weight Watchers and similar diets are successful because they provide in-person support. While it may not seem like it makes a difference, having people around you who share a common goal, it can make a world of difference for some.
9. It Helps You Change Your Whole Lifestyle
Have you noticed a trend in these criteria yet? They all seem long-term, lifestyle-oriented, don’t they? That’s because every successful diet is geared to help you make big lifestyle changes, to help you lead a healthier life overall.
10. It Wants You to Succeed Forever
Finally, a successful diet is one that you won’t need forever, and one you won’t need again. A successful diet, one that works, teaches you new, healthy habits so well, you’ll be able to maintain your goal weight for a long, long time… maybe even forever.
Now that you’ve compared your diet to my list, is it already a successful diet, or will you make some changes? Which of these tips will you incorporate right away? Or do you have another successful diet secret to share?
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